US denies JP McManus entitled to $5.2m tax refund

Businessman claims tax wrongly withheld on $17.4m in US gambling winnings in 2012

JP McManus: interests range from bloodstock to gambling to hospitality. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons.

JP McManus: interests range from bloodstock to gambling to hospitality. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons.

 

The United States government has denied businessman JP McManus is entitled to a $5.2 million (€4.7 million) refund of taxes which he claims were wrongly withheld on $17.4 million in US gambling winnings in 2012.

The Department of Justice, responding to a legal complaint filed by the Limerick man in the US courts, in August, has rejected Mr McManus’s claim that the US tax authorities were not entitled to the taxes.

He had argued the $5.2 million was “erroneously withheld” by an Internal Revenue Service agent to cover potential US federal income tax. His earnings were exempt from US taxes under a 1997 double-taxation agreement between Ireland and the US, he claimed.

His Texas-based lawyers said in the complaint to the US Court of Federal Claims that he was a citizen and resident of Ireland in 2012 and that year he earned income outside Ireland that was “generally not subject to Ireland’s provincial geographic income tax structure”.

Domicile levy

US government attorneys, in their response filed on Friday, denied Mr McManus was a “resident of Ireland” for tax purposes in 2012.

They argued that, because he didn’t file an Irish income tax return for the 2012 tax year, he took the position that he was not a resident of Ireland in 2012 and “benefited materially from that position”.

The US government claimed he was taking “a contrary position in this case” and asked the Washington court to dismiss his action.

Irish passport

Jason Bergmann

Denying Mr McManus’s claim the IRS approved a refund of $5.2 million in 2014, the government said the IRS had “not taken formal action” on whether to grant the refund when he filed his legal action.